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they tell me that I
am powerless over this
brute in me.

i scoured the pages of my
history, where mantras scrawled
hastily in my own hand

confirmed that which
i had feared most. there i’d
written, “the fact that

i would fall if left on my
my own is the single
greatest certainty in

my life.” my words
in roguish honesty sent
me reeling as if

transplanted to then – when
i could read my very
own epitaph.

the words read true as
thousands before me
have confessed – powerless.

yet here in the dusk
of my thirties resounds
a different theme.

i, a poet, can
conquer anything.
if this pen were

hewn into a blade, would
twelve steps of truth be
all to stand in the

way of my cutting myself
free of this wretched
estate? should one,

endowed with great power over
language feel belittled,
impoverished, helpless against

the words of so many others?
surely there lies in me
a boon quite holy,

granting me the authority
to flip and stretch and cut along
the seams of words and

their ability to change
what they say simply
by snipping away at the

maxims they portend. so, i
will not be defined by
the truth of other men.

honest as they may be
their lovely words write me
powerless, when all the while

i am powerful.


10 thoughts on “Habit

  1. This is a wonderful exploration. I’m not sure it is powerless or not. For me it is a question of what it is I want to have power over. Most things I have no power over even though I think I might, but there are some very important things I have control and power over. In particular, my words and actions.

  2. Sonny says:

    I love when you lay yourself vulnerable. You remind me of all things beautiful– the strength in you contrasted against the weakness in you. You– your poetry is like summer peaches and spring trees and winter snows.

    “should one,

    endowed with great power over
    language feel belittled,
    impoverished, helpless against

    the words of so many others?”

    Such a perfect line. A plea. A lament. An edge of bitter.

    We are powerful. We are powerless. That’s what makes our lives and the way they intersect with others so damn interesting.

    I like the title too– Habit. It makes me feel as if in the majority of the poem, the speaker is ‘feeling powerless’ out of habit. As if the powerlessness isn’t real– only perceived from too many years of feeling it. The last line takes on an awakening. A moment of decision perhaps when an old habit is being discarded. I like the contrast. I like that it happens in the very end. It makes the ending feel like a beginning.

  3. ain’t it cool… it is wonderful to feel the itch the craving… the power of humility, a sense of that dead weight release… only to start all over again… i feel a song coming on dear composer…

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